Today, Sanjay Leela Bhansali completes 25 years in the Indian film industry. With nine magnum opuses like Black, Saawariya, Padmaavat, Ram Leela, Bajirao Mastani, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas to his name, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has carved a special niche as a filmmaker. His eye for detail, thematic style of direction and powerful storylines have left an indelible mark on Bollywood. As he completes quarter of a century in Bollywood, he is currently working on his tenth film Gangubai Kathiawadi.
Celebrating his 25 years of great cinema, Bhansali Productions posted a showreel of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s legacy on social media. The reel has taken the internet by storm and includes all the iconic spectacles, dialogues and artistes across every one of the nine movies that he has created so far.
Speaking about his journey thus far, Sanjay Leela Bhansali said, “It has not always been an easy journey but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself regardless – I’ve won some and learnt some. But these 25 years would not be complete without the incredible effort of every single person I’ve worked with so far. The movie that an audience watches on their screens is a creative culmination of so many different forms of art – from the soundtrack, colours, screenplay, architecture, dialogues to every thread on every costume. It’s the fantabulous team of technicians, artistes, writers, producers and assistant directors that have been the real pillar behind every movie made. That’s why I like the call my films ‘handmade movies’. The years ahead are blank pages waiting to be written and I am itching to write them.”
In his 25 years, he has put India on the global map of cinema with movies like Devdas premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. The movie was also nominated for British Academy of Film and Television Awards for Best Film Not in the English Language. His Big B and Rani Mukherji starrer, Black, inspired by the life of Helen Keller, stood fifth in Time’s “10 Best Movies of the Year 2005” (Europe) amongst films from across the world.
Not only that, but he has changed the face of Indian cinema by stirring a movement that focuses on artistic sets, clean direction and thematic backdrops. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s signature style of highly choreographed sequences and larger-than-life mega-musicals are somehow still rooted in realism.
A music connoisseur, Sanjay Leela Bhansali turned music director over the years. His movies have given us some memorable melodies such as Ram Chahe Leela, Tattad Tattad, Lahu Munh Lag Gaya, Ghoomar, Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje, Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyan, Chand Chupa Baadal Mein, Nimbooda, Mastani, Saawariya, Jab Se Tere Naina. He has also produced movies like Gabbar Is Back, Laal Ishq, Mary Kom, Rowdy Rathore, My Friend Pintoand Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. As a writer, he has 13 credits to his name and has penned some of his work including Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani, Ram Leela, Black, Devdas and Guzaarish, amongst others.
In 2015, Sanjay Leela Bhansali was honoured with the Padma Shri. He has a legacy of 38 awards to his name including National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards, Mirchi Music Awards, Screen Awards, IIFA Awards, Zee Cine Awards and Zee Gold Awards.